Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Assemblies of God and Roman Catholic circles. Her calling as an intercessor led her to receive a certification in Advanced Spiritual Warfare from LMCI (Liberating Ministries for Christ International) . Sarah has served as a small group leader, worship planner, liturgical dance leader and online ministry coordinator. She holds a M.S. degree in Education and lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and their youngest son. Her older sons reside in northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York. They attend North Rome Wesleyan Church.

Joanne Reinhart asked Jesus Christ into her heart at the age of nine in a Sunday school classroom in Maryland. Her journey with the Lord took her through various careers, colleges, and universities. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art/Dance, Theology, and Education, and a M.S. degree in Educational Administration. Her passion for the Lord is evidenced through worship, dance, and teaching. She was liberated into her spiritual gifts and callings through the teaching resources of LMCI . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently lives in Florida and attends church at Coastal Family Church in Flagler Beach, FL.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Choosing To Give Thanks

For many people around the world, the days are now filling up with holiday preparations.  Thoughts of Thanksgiving or Christmas enter our minds but can often evoke stressful emotions.  “Will I have time off to celebrate with loved ones?  Will I be alone again for the holidays?  Will my family have the money to give gifts even to our children?”

Depression, anxiety, and loneliness, to list a few, are real and they can weigh heavily on our hearts.  How can we be filled with HOPE during the holidays?  As Christians, our HOPE is in Jesus Christ, who suffered all our earthly emotions for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took all our infirmities, sins, and iniquities; died; was buried; and resurrected for us.  Jesus is now seated beside the Father and continually prays for us. Through Him we can conquer all these things!

Romans 8:34-35 (NKJV)
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
There is ONE thing we can do to remain hope-filled… choose to give thanks.  Have you ever heard of “counting your blessings”? It works!!  Choosing to give thanks and remembering what the Lord has done for us keeps us full of hope.

 Psalm 103:2-5 (MEV)
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    and forget not all His benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquities,
    who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 who satisfies your mouth with good things,
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

When we choose to give thanks, we enter the presence of the Lord. (Psalm 100:4) In His presence is fullness of joy! (Psalm 16:11) Whatever we say or do should be in giving thanks to our heavenly Father because of what Jesus accomplished for us.

Colossians 3:17 (CEV)
Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
So, we have a choice, once again. Our heavenly Father chose us before the foundation of the world and made us accepted in the beloved, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:4-6) Let us choose to give thanks today and each day as the year quickly comes to an end.
We are thankful to God for the privilege of sharing our hearts through the scriptures in this blog.  The Lord, Jesus, continues to bless us by “filling our ink wells” with words of hope to send out.  Thank you, readers, and to those with whom you share these thoughts on – we are truly thankful.
Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

~ Joanne and Sarah

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fortitude to Finish (Part 2)

Picture an awards ceremony at the Olympic Games. The top three athletes are called to the rewards platform to receive their prizes. They are the coveted gold, silver, or bronze medals for each category of the games. Who will be the recipients of these awards that took years of physical and mental training?  Will all the time and effort spent pay off? Whose Wheaties Box image will be the next to greet us in the morning?  What about the time and effort we, ordinary folks, expend daily in this life?  Why should we continue to press on if we only have an obscure, unimaginable award waiting for us after this life is over? 
Have you ever heard of “paying it forward”? It’s a pretty common theme in this culture. To “Pay it Forward” means: when someone does a good deed for you, instead of paying them back, pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else. Admittedly it’s a rather non-committal way to do a good deed. Anonymously paying for the lunch for the person in line behind you at McDonald’s may not seem earth shattering. But, when many believers in Jesus live lives in loving sacrifice, the results can cause a large scale tsunami of His light to wash over the world. So, when we think about Paying it Forward to Jesus, we learn to understand that our rewards are both physical and eternal. That means, when we continue to do all things heartily as unto the Lord Jesus Christ, we are accumulating ‘award payments’ to be received at the judgment seat of Christ.  (Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. Colossians 3:23 CEB)

Only believers in Jesus Christ (John 3:16) will be judged at the bema (Greek: judgment seat).  Our eternal rewards are REAL. There are heavenly crowns that await us, not brimstone and fiery judgment! 

Romans 14:10 (NKJV) For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (AMP) For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].

So, what are these crowns (worthy rewards) ….  and, how can we achieve them? There are 5 eternal crowns available to us: 1) the crown of rejoicing; 2) the crown of life; 3) the crown of glory; 4) the crown of mastery; and 5) the crown of righteousness. 
The following questions will help us in considering these heavenly rewards:
1. What has my purpose and motive been in life since becoming a Christian?
2. What have I been keeping myself “busy with”?  Where has my attention been placed?  What am I daily striving to accomplish?
3. Have I testified to others about Jesus Christ and why I accepted Him as my Lord?
4. Have I been ‘looking unto Jesus’ the author and finisher of my faith?
5. Have I disciplined my body and endeavored to keep it well and wholesome, as the temple of the Holy Spirit?
6. Have I been a faithful steward of the gifts / talents the Lord has given me?
7. Have I ever suffered persecution for my faith in Jesus Christ?
8. Have I lived a life in view of Christ’s return?
If you have tried and are continuing to try to live and do these things, then you will receive rewards at the judgment seat of Christ!

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (TLB)
For what is it we live for, that gives us hope and joy and is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes back again.
The crown of rejoicing is given as a reward for winning others to Christ. Our rejoicing and boasting is because we know that we will be with that person for all eternity, together with the Lord! 

James 1:12 (AMPC) Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
Revelation 2:10b (ESV) Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

The crown of life is awarded to those who have suffered persecution, persevered and been tested, and their love for Christ has not wavered.

1 Peter 5:2-4 (NIV)
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
The crown of glory is given to those who have faithfully overseen those put under their leadership in the Body of Christ.  

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (AMP)
Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. 26 Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. 27 But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].

The crown of mastery is awarded to those who have disciplined the body and been victorious over it.

2 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

All who have lived life in view of Christ’s return will be given the crown of righteousness. 
Is it possible to achieve all these heavenly crowns?  How can I think about them today with the crises (illness, financial situation, etc.) facing me and my family? Again, please review the questions above that all of us need to consider.  The Lord is faithful and will make a way for you to persevere and be victorious in Him.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
You will be able to declare as Timothy did in 2 Timothy 4:7 (AMPC): I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.

~ Joanne & Sarah

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fortitude to Finish (Part 1)

The apostle Paul compared this journey we call life to a marathon. He used this illustration when addressing the church in Corinth:

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (AMPC)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.  Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.

Below is a quote from The Woman’s Study Bible (NKJV) that explains these verses:
The Greeks hosted the great athletic festivals of the Olympic and Isthmian games.  The latter were held at Corinth and were therefore familiar to the recipients of Paul’s letter.  Contestants in the games participated in ten months of mandatory training.  If they failed to complete this training, they were barred from competition.  The major attraction at the games was the lengthy race, [marathon] and that was the illustration Paul used to depict the faithful Christian life…. He admonished the Corinthians to do the same so that they, too, might attain the eternal prize.

While the marathon/life analogy makes perfect sense to us intellectually, we know that there are many of us who need a more relevant grasp of how to press in so we can attain that crown. Seriously, wrapping your mind around running a marathon my not be very helpful if your hip hurts or you have bills to think about or you’re worried sick about your child because of some bully at school. “Yes Paul, I get it….. but, today my head hurts because my spouse is out of work and there isn’t enough money in our checking account to pay the rent.”
So, what should be our daily mind-set when faced with the obstacles of poor health, lack of finances, strained relationships, or whatever? Can we forget the past (even words spoken against us or hurtful actions)?  How can we continue to look ahead at a future that is unknown?  Is there a light at the end of our tunnel of seeming failures?  Perhaps there have been a few victories, but how can we continue to go on?  Paul shares his secret for continuing the race we face daily in Philippians 3:13-14 (TLB): No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.

Where is our daily energy focused?  How can we ‘forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead’? What is this eternal prize that we can attain?  Can we continue to finish the race set before us for only heavenly rewards in the future?  We would like to tell you about these eternal rewards and how to attain them in our next blog, Fortitude to Finish (Part 2).  Yet, there is also the truth of the ‘now’ reward of being in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can have each day.  These promises in the Word of God give us the ability to ‘wait on the Lord’.  For when we do, we will be strengthened to finish the race and overcome any obstacle that is thrown into our paths.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

~ Sarah & Joanne

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

In the animal kingdom, fear can freeze the prey of a larger animal on the hunt. This allows the larger animal (tiger, lion, etc.) to attack and devour the hunted. The enemy of our souls, satan and his cohorts, is on the hunt for those of us who know the King of all Kings, Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Some have said that F.E.A.R.= False Evidence Appearing Real
Wow!  Think about it: false evidence of disease, destruction, death, and other disturbing thoughts that spin a web of lies inside our minds so that our heart trembles at these images. What will happen to us tomorrow? How can we afford this setback? How long before I (we) lose everything: my health, my job, my family, my friends, my reputation? Do you ever ‘hear’ these accusations in your mind: “If only you hadn’t done ______; now that this has happened, _______” or, “I will just have to hang on ___; I’ve lost all hope of ever ____; I can’t ever go back ___; things will never change___; I give up ___; I just can’t do it any more ___.”  Well, these are all part of that web of lies that the enemy has concocted to keep us imprisoned.  Yes, imprisoned!  But, the TRUTH is, Jesus Christ has already taken all our sicknesses, diseases, weakness, lack, trauma, anxiety, depression, and sin away from us at the cross.  His blood was perfectly shed to remove all our sins, transgressions, and iniquities.  His body was beaten, scourged and bruised to provide complete healing for us.  His body was ‘broken’ so ours could be ‘whole.’  Our spirit has been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross.  Our mind (soul) can be free of any oppression by the daily ‘washing of the water of the Word of God’. (Ephesians 5:26)
When we speak the scriptures out loud, we are washing our minds with the cleansing water of the Word of God.  It is healing and restores peace to our hearts.  When we hear the scriptures spoken, our faith is increased in hope!

Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!
This is a key which brings peace to our minds: turning our thoughts to the Lord.  How can we do that? By consciously saying scripture out loud, by praying in the spirit, and by refusing to respond to the web of lies that the devil is trying to weave in our minds, we can be at peace.
In Matthew 1:20, the angel said to Joseph: “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
The Greek word for fear in this verse is phobeo, which means: to fear, be afraid, alarmed.  It is similar to our English word, phobia, which means: an irrational, excessive, and persistent fear of some particular thing or situation.
How can we FEAR NOT in these days of uncertainty and unknown outcomes? How can we have PEACE and JOY daily?  How can we rejoice in the Lord always?

Philippians 4:6-8 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

We can choose what we think about.  We can choose to trust the LORD.  We can declare the truth about what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.  We can use our spiritual authority to silence the enemy against his mental onslaughts. Is this easy to do all by ourselves?  No, sometimes it isn’t.  However, we can come together with another like- minded believer and search the scriptures to find those that nourish our souls.  The Holy Spirit will guide us.  We can use the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and stand, and speak these powerful truths into our situations.  Remember, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34).  We are not alone, and Jesus said He would never leave or forsake us. He has given us His peace, and repeatedly says: “Let not your heart be troubled.” (John 14:1)

John 14:27 (AMP)
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]
This is a great verse to type, copy, paste, print, read, put on your desktop or mobile device and say out loud each day.  Before you know it, you will have it memorized!  Jesus is always interceding for us (those who have called upon the name of the Lord – Romans 10:13). He kept telling His disciples to “fear not” because in Him was all peace and joy.

John 16:33 (CEB)
I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”
God is love (1 John 4:8), and perfect love casts out fear. His love for us is perfect.

1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

So, let us be encouraged!! Let’s Fear NOT!! The Lord will strengthen us and hold us up. We have been given power over the enemy’s lies and our minds are sound and full of love from the Father.